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The Lesser Visited – for the Moment and for Me – Open Mics in Paris

October 21, 2014

cabaret culture rapide in the snow

cabaret culture rapide in the snow

PARIS – I’m a little late in reporting about my open mic activities from last Thursday and Friday, but as so often happens, life intervened. But I just had to mark my marking of my territory in these two cool open mics in Paris where I have been in the past but rarely go to. Any other theme? Yes, both have recently had their MCs change, and both have taken on a new feel for it.

The first is in the bar near the Bourse called the Kolok. Every Thursday night now for two or three years there has been an open mic. I attended maybe only once in the past, and at the time I was a little disappointed with the wall of sound from the customers who did not seem to be there for the open mic, but just as a neat, cool, little bar alternative to the more busy Truskel, not far around the corner.

Last Thursday, though, with the open mic now being run by Guillaume, a rock-spirited guitar player and singer who uses and acoustic guitar, the feeling was quite different than my first experience there. I met several people I know from other open mics, and the evening closed off with a jam. Always a great sign. I will returned.

From the Kolok, to the Cabaret Culture Rapide

On Friday night I decided to venture forth to the Cabaret Culture Rapide, an open mic I have attended and written about a lot more than the Kolok. In fact, I often used to go to the Cabaret Culture Rapide Thursday jam session, even though it was not quite my style. But when I learned recently that the delightful Terrebrune has taken over running the Friday open mic, I went.

The one drawback and challenge of this open mic is that it is now, and always has been, completely acoustic. No mic for the voice, and no amp for the guitar or other instrument. So although the bar is postage stamp size, you still have to have a voice that carries – or you have to select your songs where your voice carries best.

Terrebrune has brought a great feel of organization and a warm personality to this open mic, and it was a thoroughly fun evening, again, playing a first set of two songs, followed by a final song near midnight, after the full list of performers for the evening had finished playing. Definitely worth the occasional visit, but keep in mind that lack of mic – both a disadvantage and a challenge…which has its advantages.

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